We live in an age of rapid social change and unprecedented increase of new knowledge and scientific invention. In such an age we must do all in our power to strengthen our great system of formal education. But we must not stop there. We must also recognize that a free society today demands that we keep on learning or face the threat of national deterioration. We must educate people today for a future in which the choices to be faced cannot be anticipated by even the wisest now among us. We are on the frontier of an era which holds the possibilities of a new Golden Age in which the inroads of poverty, hunger, and disease will be lessened, in which through the extension of educational opportunities, men and women everywhere will have it within their power to develop their potential capacities to the maximum.
The agenda before the American people is great. The problems are complex. I believe that an America that understands the importance of “lifelong learning” will be able to deal with those problems more wisely and more vigorously.
I am, therefore, pleased to express my support of those who are working to strengthen the adult education programs of our universities and colleges, our schools, our libraries, and our voluntary citizen organizations. Your efforts are helping America to move forward toward greater strength and cultural vitality which can make our nation once again a beacon light among freedom-loving people everywhere.
John F. Kennedy